Fun

Posted on: February 6th, 2015 by
11

At the beginning of the movie Frozen, young sisters Elsa and Anna are playing. Elsa, who has ice powers, accidentally strikes her younger sister Anna in the head with a bolt of ice. Their distraught parents take the guilt-ridden Elsa and the unconscious Anna to trolls for help; the magical troll in charge informs the parents that Anna would recover and assures them that she will forget about Elsa’s ice powers but will always remember the fun.

Throughout the movie, Elsa struggles with her fear of her powers and is tarnished by life, while the more carefree Anna seeks out the fun she remembers having with her sister.

I loved this insightful movie, but this post isn’t a movie review.

This post is about fun.

My energetic six-year-old daughter always reminds me about the importance of fun. A typical child, she enjoys playing and would do so 24 hours per day if I didn’t remind her about schoolwork, straightening her room, and the need for sleep.

On the other hand, like many adults, I get weighed down by life’s daily problems. That’s the price of growing up; we become painfully serious and jaded, we lose our innocence to the heaviness of life — and we shelf the fun.

Here in the Chicago area, we recently received a nice dumping of snow. While snow is beautiful, I always wince when it falls. To me and many adults, snow means work: lots of shoveling, challenging commutes, and constantly wiping off the snow from cars. And don’t get me started about when snow melts and then a cold snap freezes it into ice!

Like most kids, Ari views snow as yet another opportunity to have fun. And she is teaching me how to enjoy the snow again. On our way back from school, she initiates snowball fights. We pelt each other with white fluff, and she chases me, eager to hit mama with snowballs. Hearing her peals of laughter and screams of delight warm my heart in the coldest of days.

Ari in Snow

Lately she’s been pushing me into snow banks. I pull her in with me. We laugh, as we lay in the snow, look skyward, and taste the falling snow flurries. We have difficulty extricating ourselves from the deep snow banks, but we just keep laughing as we stumble and keep falling backward. Ari enjoys trying to “swim” in the snow, and I am entertained. Then she gets mischievous and places pieces of snow down my pants. I scream, feigning horror. More peals of child-laughter.

Let it Snow

So then I get this idea. I purchase a plastic toboggan so we can slide together down a nearby man-made sledding hill over the weekend. This is probably not the wisest move, I reflect, as I’m a clutz with balance problems and haven’t sledded since I was a kid. And I know I will be sore at the very least. And going at fast speeds tends to make me want to vomit. But I don’t care. I’m sliding down the hill with Ari, dammit! I so want us to have fun, I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone to do it.

But we can’t wait until the weekend to have toboggan fun. The day the toboggan arrives, Ari is in school. When we get home, we take it out for a spin (OK, several spins). I run on the snowy-icy shoveled paths pulling the rope, as Ari sits confidently on the toboggan laughing and yelling “mush, mush!” I spin the plastic “vehicle” around and run again pulling joyful Ari around, as she shouts, “faster!”

I notice our neighbors unhappily shoveling their driveways and cleaning the snow off their cars. They glare at the noisy duo tobogganing around.

But then I get an idea for more fun. My hours of shoveling had resulted in a rather large snow bank near the house. We put the toboggan on top of the “hill” and Ari gets on. I pull her gently as she gleefully goes down the mini-mountain. We do this repeatedly. When I ask if she’s having fun, Ari yells “More than fun! This is awesome!” A friend later stops by and sees the toboggan tracks on the mini-mountain and says, “It looks like you held the Winter Olympics here.”

Princess Party

The fun continues indoors, as well. We recently attended a princess party at a local country club. Ari (and many of the girls) dressed as Queen Elsa from Frozen. In a magnificent setting befitting princesses and queens, Ari and I danced.

Princess Party

Several famous royal characters showed up, including adults Princess Anna and Queen Elsa. The princesses sung on stage; Ari and the rest of the girls seemed to be in a trance. Then the royal highnesses came to the dance floor to dance with the transfixed girls, then did face painting and took photos with each girl.

Overall, this was one of the best parties I’ve attended.

Watching my daughter’s face light up while the princesses talked and sang to the audience brought me happy tears. I loved her look of wonder as she sung along with the popular songs from Frozen.

I’m grateful for all the fun Ari and I have. Sometimes adults get so weighed down by stark reality that we forget that fun is also a part of reality. And tapping into our inner child is an immeasurable gift.

Ari near the ballroom entrance

Ari near the ballroom entrance

Ari and Queen Elsa

Ari and Queen Elsa

How do you have fun?

Have you tapped into your inner child? If so, what types of things do you do?

Anyone have tips on tobogganing?


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11 Responses to Fun

  1. Nelson - One Old Sage had this to say about that:

    Wonderful post! Dr. Attai sent me over. :)

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Nelson,

      Dr. Attai is a gem! Glad to meet you and thank you so much for your kind words.

  2. Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) had this to say about that:

    Oh how I enjoyed this post. I was smiling right the way through. Actually, I smile every time I see Ari’s gorgeous little face.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Marie,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this. It was a lot of fun to write. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round Up: The World Cancer Day Edition | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

  4. Eileen@womaninthehat had this to say about that:

    The two of you are such a gift to each other.This post made me smile. :)

  5. Nancy's Point had this to say about that:

    Hi Beth,
    You are so right. We adults can be so serious! We have to remember to put a little fun into our lives too. I loved reading this post. And the photos are something special too. The one on top with the missing tooth showing, that one belongs in a contest somewhere! Pure joy there on Ari’s sweet face. Love how kids embrace winter. Enjoy the rest of yours, or try to! Thanks for the delightful post.

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Thanks, Nancy! Kids certainly remind us to stop being serious all the time. Yes, I love the one where she’s missing her tooth. Thank you for your kind words. I am learning — bit by bit — to enjoy winter again.

      We went sledding this weekend, and it was so much fun. My legs are sore from contorting all different ways on our sled.

  6. Jan Hasak had this to say about that:

    How fun this must have been, Beth! My sons and their wives are coming to visit this spring and I hope to do some fun things with them, even though they are adults. Mini-golfing, seeing movies, and going to an observatory are some activities I have in mind, things that I can still do. Also fun will be when I can drive again. I hope to be able to take a week and just drive along the coast, stopping at various points along the way, just because I can. Keep up the fun!! xxx

    • Beth L. Gainer had this to say about that:

      Hi Jan,

      It’s great to hear from you! Sounds like you have a whole fun itinerary planned for your sons and daughters-in-law. When you’re able to drive, you are in for some magnificent views, I’m sure, along the coast. I’ve only been to California on business, and I didn’t get to see much, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful, especially along the coast.

      Having fun is so very important. I’m sure you are looking forward to your spring fun. In the meantime, Ari and I will certainly keep up the fun!

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